Vehicle accidents are common occurrences. While most vehicle accidents are minor, some can be extremely serious and result in severe injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers vehicle statistics from across the country. According to their report, there were 613 traffic fatalities in Wisconsin in 2017. That number has not improved in the last 10 years. Those who are hurt in a vehicle accident may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party that caused the accident. It is best to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately following an accident.
Why do Vehicle Accidents Happen?
Car accidents are caused by a variety of factors. In general, the cause of a vehicle accident falls into one of three main categories. These include:
- Driver related
- Mechanical failure
- Weather or road conditions
Human error is the most common cause of vehicle accidents. Human error can involve speeding, failure to yield, failure to stop at a traffic signal or sign, improper lane change, impaired driving, and more. An increase in distracted driving is a cause for alarm. Distracted driving occurs when the driver is not adequately paying attention to the road. This can occur when the driver is talking with passengers, changing the radio station or, more commonly, texting or using a handheld electronic device.
Mechanical failure happens when the vehicle suffers a problem such as a blown tire or brake malfunction.
Weather or road conditions include debris on the road, ice, snow or rain and even deer on the highway.
Negligence in a Vehicle Accident
After a vehicle crash, a determination needs to be made by the insurance companies as to who was at fault for the accident. In some instances, there may be more than one factor that caused the accident, and more than one driver may have some responsibility for the accident. Keep in mind that an accident can be complex and you cannot assume that you know exactly what occurred, even if you were driving.
There are a number of things that need to be reviewed to determine fault, such as driver statements, the police report, witness accounts, and any video available of the accident. In some cases, accident reconstruction is necessary to figure out complicated accident scenarios.
After an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will want to get a statement of what happened. Sometimes they may offer you a settlement rather soon after the incident. It is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer before you accept any payments from the insurance company. In many cases, they may offer you a payment that is too low and it may not even cover the expenses that you have incurred due to the accident.
It is best to let your attorney negotiate with the insurance company to protect your interests and ensure that you obtain a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter may need to go to court. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, call the trusted lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. for a consultation.